Teemu Keskisarja: Vihreän kullan kirous. G.A. Serlachiuksen elämä ja afäärit [The curse of green gold. The life and affairs of G.A. Serlachius]

17 March 2011 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Vihreän kullan kirous. G.A. Serlachiuksen elämä ja afäärit
[The curse of green gold. The life and affairs of G.A. Serlachius]
Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Siltala, 2010. 350 p., ill.
ISBN 978-952-234-041-2
€ 35, hardback

In the famine years of the 1860s and with no inherited fortune to his name, G.A. Serlachius (1830–1901) built his industrial centre in the rural backwoods of Mänttä. His work laid the foundations for what would become one of Europe’s leading paper manufacturers. G.A. Serlachius was a Finnish self-made man whose education was cut short due to his family’s financial difficulties. The energetic Serlachius is considered to have pioneered contacts with Western European markets; he was responsible for bringing the first icebreaker ship to Finland. Serlachius was also known as a patron of the arts and a supporter of artists; the collection of the Serlachius Art Foundation is his best-known legacy. According to this biography, Serlachius suffered from ‘an extremely advanced megalomania’ in the opinion of his bankers, and his personality was ‘more aggressive than many Finnish-born generals of the Pax Russica’. The Association of the Friends of History selected this book as its History Book of the Year for 2010.
Translated by Ruth Urbom

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